Saturday, January 29, 2011

2011 Ducati 1198 SP Review

Ducati’s superbike series has been impressing over several generations, a concoction made even more desirable since the debut of the 1098/1198 series launched in 2007, later enlarged to 1198 potent cubic centimeters in 2009. Gorgeous, soulful and devilishly brutal, Ducati’s 1198 is a very special motorcycle.

But for enthusiasts with deep pockets, especially aficionados of Italian bikes, the base 1198 might not be special enough.

Enter the new-for-2011 premium Ducati Superbike, the 1198 SP.

SP stands for Sport Production, which is nomenclature Ducati has used for decades to designate some of the high-end models in its superbike series. This lineage stretches back to the 851 SP which debuted in 1989.
Added to the potent 1198’s equipment, the SP adds all the bits from the former 1198 S (Ohlins suspension and forged Marchesini wheels), plus a slipper clutch, Ducati Quick Shifter, Ohlins TTX shock (formerly T36PR), and an aluminum fuel tank. It retails for $21,795, just $200 more than the old S version.